BRADFORD – Hill and Hollow Farms, a local cattle operation on the outskirts of Gettysburg, suffered the loss of a barn early Friday morning after being consumed by fire.
At approximately 12:33 a.m., emergency personnel from Gettysburg Fire and Rescue responded along with Bradford, Versailles and Greenville Township Fire Departments to 7174 Auld Road to the reports of a barn fire with smoke and flames shown.
According to Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Unger of the Gettysburg Fire Department, crews arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the barn with two nearby exposures.
Firefighters were able to quickly take control of the blaze isolating it to its point of origin and prevent it from spreading to those surrounding barns further limiting damage to the cattle operation.
The extent of the damage to the barn was described as “a total loss” by Assistant Chief Unger. “The main focus from our time of arrival was to protect the surrounding exposures and, at the request of the owner, try and locate and save certain tanks located within the barn,” he added.
The barn, used primarily for storage of mowers and other smaller power equipment was also used by the operation to house the farms Liquid Nitrogen Cryogenic Tanks.
“We can replace other things inside but the most important is our tanks,” stated property owner Leesa Beanblossom. “These are irreplaceable, the genetics of our stock is reliant on the tanks.”
After nearly two hours of battling the blaze that destroyed the barn and left the upper loft collapsed in on the lower floor, firefighters were able to gain entry and search for and recover the Cryogenic Tanks. It was estimated that at least $30,000 worth of embryos were rescued from the fire due to the efforts of the firefighters and recovery efforts.
“Anytime you have a good ending to a disastrous situation like this is a great feeling”, commented Assistant Chief Unger.
The cause and nature of the fire are unknown at this time and remain under investigation by the Gettysburg Fire Department.
PHOTO CAPTION: Firefighters battle two alarm barn fire near Gettysburg. (Jim Comer photo)